- The Washington Times - Friday, August 14, 2020

It looks like Project Veritas President James O’Keefe will be allowed to buy a firearm after all.

After failing a background check that listed him erroneously as a felon, Mr. O’Keefe said Friday that the FBI has removed the “wrongful conviction status” on its National Instant Criminal Background Check System [NICS], a week after he filed a lawsuit against the agency.

“This is a victory for all Americans. No law-abiding citizen should be wrongfully denied the basic right to bear arms,” said Mr. O’Keefe, who attempted to buy a shotgun July 26 in New York state, in a statement.

Even though he is now eligible to purchase the firearm, Mr. O’Keefe said he has no plans to drop his lawsuit against the FBI, which was filed Aug. 6 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

“The FBI removal from NICS is effectively an admission that he shouldn’t have been there to begin with, the lawsuit will continue in order to find out who placed James on the list and why he was kept on the list wrongly for seven years,” said O’Keefe attorney Jered Ede.



Mr. Ede added that a “number of reporters have misled readers to believe false information about James‘ background and we will continue to pursue corrections if it is misreported.”

Project Veritas routinely posts corrections by media outlets to stories about its undercover video investigations on its “Wall of Shame.”

FBI Removes Wrongful Conviction Status Of @JamesOKeefeIII From NICS https://t.co/3GQZgyh7GV

— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) August 14, 2020

In 2010, Mr. O’Keefe pleaded guilty to a Class B misdemeanor for posing as a telephone repair worker to enter the New Orleans office of then-Sen. Mary Landrieu. He was fined and sentenced to three years’ probation, which he said he completed seven years ago.

“Throughout this ordeal, I have learned from too many people about the hassles regular Americans have gone through just to exercise their right to keep and bear arms,” Mr. O’Keefe said. “It should not be so difficult to exercise a right the Constitution says should not be infringed.”

A Project Veritas spokesperson said Mr. O’Keefe was alerted to the change to his background-check status in a call from one of the gun shops where he had attempted to purchase a firearm.

Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, said that resolving mistaken listings on the NICS typically takes between six and nine months, although “some people can never get their records fixed,” said the Project Veritas press release.

“The only way to find out if you are on this list or in the database is to go and try to buy a gun,” Mr. Gottlieb said in the release. “It happens a lot to people and we get complaints about it all the time.”

The Washington Times has reached out to the FBI for comment. Last week, the FBI said it had no comment on the case in a response to a query.

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